With the approach of the Shanghai World Expo, authorities have issued strict guidelines regarding the sale of knives. The League of Chinese Victims thinks the high level of concern is related to the large number of people who were forcefully evicted to create space for the Expo.
The Expo will be held from May 1 through Oct. 31. The command post of the security office issued orders stating that anyone selling cutting tools must “check the buyers’ identification, record the information, and keep a record of the number and kind of knives that are purchased. Those records must then be reported to local police on a weekly basis.”
Moreover, knives may only be purchased from designated shops. Knife vendors must obtain a permit to sell cutting tools or ceramic knives during the Expo. Those who do not have permits must remove all cutting tools from their shelves. Qualified vendors must provide a separate location for selling knives and arrange for security personnel to be in attendance. No knives may be sold to minors or the mentally disturbed.
The Epoch Times reporter confirmed that notices have already been issued to places that sell knives, and the Huangpu Public Security Bureau confirmed the policy.
A Shanghai resident said he found the announcement ludicrous. “Which house does not have knives, and which meat vendors could work without knives? Why is the government so afraid?” he asked the reporter.
The stepped-up security measures also require vehicles from outside Shanghai to apply in advance for permits if they need to enter the city. Radio Free Asia reported that hotels have stopped letting people check-in if they are from Xinjiang or Tibet.
A Reason for Fear
The Shanghai Expo will attract visitors from 240 countries, and Shanghai will be in the spotlight of media from around the world.
A ban on knives was also imposed in September 2009 shortly before the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Communist Party. Two stabbing incidents had taken place within a span of three days in Beijing, leaving two dead and 13 injured. Beijing responded by halting knife sales in major markets before and during the celebration.
In a recent open letter, the League of Chinese Victims wrote, “Behind the Expo is the Shanghai authorities' forced relocation and robbery of many people’s property.” They contend that over a million residents have had to move to make room for the Expo.
“Shanghai authorities had promised there would not be any forced demolitions, but that turned out to be a lie,” the letter continued, charging that 600 households were demolished against the will of the residents, and 3,500 people were forced to move. The compensation provided for many of them was less than one-tenth of the market value of their homes. Also, many who appealed in Beijing regarding the inadequate compensation were imprisoned by Shanghai police.
“The drumming of the Expo will drown out the voices of the victims,” the letter continued. “There are dead bodies under the stage of the Expo.”